The journey from Geneva back to Bourg took four and a half days, some of which was unforgettable for the right reasons, and the rest of which was… unforgettable. Continue reading The Alp-Packer – an alpine ITT?
Although it does happen, it’s not all that often that British winter conditions demand a full winter boot to keep toes pink and wiggly. A combination of overshoes and waterproof socks is usually enough to keep them warm, although keeping them dry is another matter, especially in the perma-bog of the Highlands. When we began to plan a trip to cross Iceland in … Continue reading 45NRTH Wolvhammer review
Kjolur – One of the historic mountain roads crossing the Icelandic Highlands, mentioned in the Sagas. It crosses from Gullfoss in the south, between LangJökull and Höfsjökull glaciers, to Blöndudalur in the north. “Your hair’s frozen again”. I pat my head, feeling the now familiar crinkling of a frosty quiff, before reaching for my mug of tea from its rock and … Continue reading Iceland: Across the Kjolur in winter
It’s been a long time coming, but as of last week I can finally rejoin the promised land, enjoy lovely trails with lovely people, and ride obscene switchbacks until my handlebars get stuck in that position – I passed the French equivalency test that allows me to legally guide and instruct bikes in France, join the French MTB instructor’s union, and even (I assume) join … Continue reading Legal Highs:Guiding in France
Part 1 Part 2 I managed to sleep anyway, though, and got up at 5 to tackle the Postaman’s Walk along the north shore of Loch Maree, all the way to a hot drink at the Whistle Stop café in Kinlochewe. It was a huge mental struggle to get up and face the long daily routine of pedal, walk, eat, pedal, and my motivation was … Continue reading Highland Trail 550 – Part 3
Part 1 So far I was happy enough with my progress, I knew I had clocked up at least 100 miles a day, probably more on the first day, and that would hopefully see me home in the six days that I was aiming for. I knew that the trail would only get hillier, rougher and slower as I hit the west coast though, … Continue reading Highland Trail 550 – Part 2
Apologies, I was too busy swallowing flapjack, pedalling and talking to myself to take any photos on this adventure. Besides, the phone was firmly stashed in many layers of waterproofing, somewhere in the depths of my seatpack. So in their place, let the words do the picture-painting for you, and I’ve dug out some photos of the same trails, taken on less suffery days… … Continue reading A Vision Quest on the Highland Trail – Part 1
Well then. We arrived back home last week after an interesting month. It had been a hard winter at the point when we left for Iceland, five weeks ago. Well, by ‘hard’ I mean that we had been jollying around Chile and Argentina for a couple of months, followed by six fairly intensive weeks of preparing for a Winter Mountain Leader assessment in the Cairngorms, … Continue reading Þakka þér Ísland!
Patagonia. What was all that about then? It’s been a pretty hectic winter since we arrived home in Scotland in January, but here are some words and photos that I put together for Bikepacker’s Magazine about our trip. “All things look good from far away and it is man’s eternally persistent childlike faith in the reality of that illusion that has made him the triumphant … Continue reading Trials and Tribulations in Patagonia
Soon (this evening in fact), I’ll be heading back to Iceland for a second time to explore more of its mountainous dirt roads by bike, and to learn more about that improbable, impossible and very thoroughly lovely country; that’s not to mention further research on the infinite variations of liquorice-based sweets to be found all over the place. Problem is, March is still wintertime in … Continue reading Iceland: Boots, Bikes and Boldly going…